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Austin

Money, tuition and graduation rates top higher ed

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ The tug-of-war between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and state universities is still going strong heading into the 2013 legislative session with new skirmishes over money looming.

After lawmakers cut nearly $1 billion in higher education spending from institutions and financial aid for students, schools want that money back.

Perry wants schools to lock in four-year tuition rates, offer cheaper degrees and graduate more students quicker. And he wants schools to earn some of the funding they get by tying at least 10 percent of the money to how many students graduate.

University leaders hope to convince the Legislature that pumping money back into higher education helps the state by producing a better-educated workforce and research that fuels economic development.

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